United Nations

A/RES/44/225


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

22 December 1989

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                        A/RES/44/225
                                                        85th plenary meeting
                                                        22 December 1989
 
      Large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing and its impact on the
       living marine resources of the world's oceans and seas
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Noting that many countries are disturbed by the increase in the use of
 large-scale pelagic driftnets, which can reach or exceed 30 miles (48
 kilometres) in total length, to catch living marine resources on the high seas
 of the world's oceans and seas,
 
      Mindful that large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing, a method of fishing
 with a net or a combination of nets intended to be held in a more or less
 vertical position by floats and weights, the purpose of which is to enmesh
 fish by drifting on the surface of or in the water, can be a highly
 indiscriminate and wasteful fishing method that is widely considered to
 threaten the effective conservation of living marine resources, such as highly
 migratory and anadromous species of fish, birds and marine mammals,
 
      Drawing attention to the fact that the present resolution does not
 address the question of small-scale driftnet fishing traditionally conducted
 in coastal waters, especially by developing countries, which provides an
 important contribution to their subsistence and economic development,
 
      Expressing concern that, in addition to targeted species of fish,
 non-targeted fish, marine mammals, seabirds and other living marine resources
 of the world's oceans and seas can become entangled in large-scale pelagic
 driftnets, either in those in active use or in those that are lost or
 discarded, and as a result of such entanglement are often either injured or
 killed, 
 
      Recognizing that more than one thousand fishing vessels use large-scale
 pelagic driftnets in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and in other
 areas of the high seas,
 
      Recognizing also that any regulatory measure to be taken for the
 conservation and management of living marine resources should take account of
 the best available scientific data and analysis,
 
      Recalling the relevant principles elaborated in the United Nations
 Convention on the Law of the Sea,
 
      Affirming that, in accordance with the relevant articles of the
 Convention, all members of the international community have a duty to
 co-operate globally and regionally in the conservation and management of
 living resources on the high seas, and a duty to take, or to co-operate with
 others in taking, such measures for their nationals as may be necessary for
 the conservation of those resources,
 
      Recalling that, in accordance with the relevant articles of the
 Convention, it is the responsibility of all members of the international
 community to ensure the conservation and management of living marine resources
 and the protection and preservation of the living marine environment within
 their exclusive economic zones,
 
      Noting the serious concern, particularly among coastal States and States
 with fishing interests, that the overexploitation of living marine resources
 of the high seas adjacent to the exclusive economic zones of coastal States is
 likely to have an adverse impact on the same resources within such zones, and
 noting also, in this regard, the responsibility for co-operation in accordance
 with the relevant articles of the Convention,
 
      Noting further that the countries of the South Pacific Forum and the
 South Pacific Commission, in recognition of the importance of living marine
 resources to the people of the South Pacific region, have called for a
 cessation of such fishing in the South Pacific and the implementation of
 effective management programmes,
 
      Taking note of the adoption of the Tarawa Declaration on this subject by
 the Twentieth South Pacific Forum at Tarawa, Kiribati, on 11 July 1989 and
 the adoption by South Pacific States and territories of the Convention on the
 Prohibition of Driftnet Fishing in the South Pacific, at Wellington on
 24 November 1989,
 
      Noting that some members of the international community have entered into
 co-operative enforcement and monitoring programmes for the immediate
 evaluation of the impact of large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing,
 
      Recognizing that some members of the international community have taken
 steps to reduce their driftnet operations in some regions in response to
 regional concerns,
 
      1.   Calls upon all members of the international community, particularly
 those with fishing interests, to strengthen their co-operation in the
 conservation and management of living marine resources;
 
      2.   Calls upon all those involved in large-scale pelagic driftnet
 fishing to co-operate fully with the international community, and especially
 with coastal States and the relevant international and regional organizations,
 in the enhanced collection and sharing of statistically sound scientific data
 in order to continue to assess the impact of such fishing methods and to
 secure conservation of the world's living marine resources;
 
      3.   Recommends that all interested members of the international
 community, particularly within regional organizations, continue to consider
 and, by 30 June 1991, review the best available scientific data on the impact
 of large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing and agree upon further co-operative
 regulation and monitoring measures, as needed;
 
      4.   Also recommends that all members of the international community,
 bearing in mind the special role of regional organizations and regional and
 bilateral co-operation in the conservation and management of living marine
 resources as reflected in the relevant articles of the United Nations
 Convention on the Law of the Sea, agree to the following measures:
 
      (a)  Moratoria should be imposed on all large-scale pelagic driftnet
 fishing by 30 June 1992, with the understanding that such a measure will not
 be imposed in a region or, if implemented, can be lifted, should effective
 conservation and management measures be taken based upon statistically sound
 analysis to be jointly made by concerned parties of the international
 community with an interest in the fishery resources of the region, to prevent
 unacceptable impact of such fishing practices on that region and to ensure the
 conservation of the living marine resources of that region;
 
      (b)  Immediate action should be taken to reduce progressively large-scale
 pelagic driftnet fishing activities in the South Pacific region with a view to
 the cessation of such activities by 1 July 1991, as an interim measure, until
 appropriate conservation and management arrangements for South Pacific
 albacore tuna resources are entered into by the parties concerned;
 
      (c)  Further expansion of large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing on the
 high seas of the North Pacific and all the other high seas outside the Pacific
 Ocean should cease immediately, with the understanding that this measure will
 be reviewed subject to the conditions in paragraph 4 (a) of the present
 resolution;
 
      5.   Encourages those coastal countries which have exclusive economic
 zones adjacent to the high seas to take appropriate measures and to co-operate
 in the collection and submission of scientific information on driftnet fishing
 in their own exclusive economic zones, taking into account the measures taken
 for the conservation of living marine resources of the high seas;
 
      6.   Requests specialized agencies, particularly the Food and Agriculture
 Organization of the United Nations, and other appropriate organs,
 organizations and programmes of the United Nations system, as well as the
 various regional and subregional fisheries organizations, urgently to study
 large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing and its impact on living marine resources
 and to report their views to the Secretary-General;
 
      7.   Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to
 the attention of all members of the international community, intergovernmental
 organizations, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the
 Economic and Social Council, and well-established scientific institutions with
 expertise in relation to living marine resources;
 
      8.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at
 its forty-fifth session a report on the implementation of the present
 resolution.